Vusa, meaning “awaken”, is an initiative that began as a part-time rugby programme for youngsters in Langa, however, as the programme developed, greater needs were identified.
Vusa co-ordinator Brendan Fogarty said their programmes were striving to create a “hub of excellence” in the community by offering a structured, after-school academic programme that included rugby as the sport.
Established in 2001 with the aim of creating opportunities and to make a difference while fostering a love of rugby, it has grown to cater for more than 300 learners from five primary schools and four crèches in Langa.
“The root cause of the challenges that some of our youth face, such as poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, crime and family breakdown are often attributed to deficiencies in early childhood. The programme’s primary goal is to provide a hub of excellence in Langa to ensure that these challenges are addressed early on by creating opportunities and as a safe space for these children to learn, play and grow, Fogarty said.